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The one where we nearly lost Kayne

The smell of roasted meat and cheap ale wafted through the air, mixed with the smell of fireworks, perfume and unwashed bodies. A common enough smell anywhere in the city, but even more concentrated in the Reverie. Luckily some perfume and a lot of roasted meat with spices fogged out the more unpleasant smells. Yanika raised her pint of ale.

“To Kayne! Glad to have the big lug back!”

“To Kayne!!!”

Helix and Zaela joined her in the toast and the three of them chugged back their ales. Yanika let out a satisfied sigh and waved for the waitress at their food stall to bring refills. She waved a roasted chicken leg around as she continued her tale.

“It was epic I tell you, epic and sort of painful.”

She brushed the fingers of her free hand through her long red locks, happy that the healing magic had also restored her hair a bit after the fireball had hit the entire group.

“We tried restoring the Doctor to life after getting the head back from Nathan, but even though I managed to reconnect the head to his body, not an easy task I can assure you, it did not bring him back to life. So we decided to take him to the temple to see if he could be resurrected. The priestess warned us that it might not work on the construct, even though it probably had a soul, but we paid for trying it anyway.”

It had been a bit of a debate of course. Resurrecting someone was not cheap to begin with, and there was a good chance it would not work at all. But they had agreed to try it anyway. They had promised to protect the Doctor and had failed in doing so. It was only right to try and bring him back. Besides, he was truly a unique creature who did a lot of good in the city.

“I’ve not seen many resurrections performed, but I don’t think that the priestess starting to float and giving off light is a usual part of it. Apparently bringing him back got a lot of attention, as a Herald of Goibhniu possessed her. They are responsible for ferrying the souls to the afterlife, but all he could do was inform us that the soul of the Doctor had been safely locked away by the God, so he couldn’t bring it back. He could offer us the possibility of getting it ourselves though. Of course we accepted and so it opened a portal for us.”

She took a bit from her chicken, followed by a good long haul from her ale. Her goblin friend’s attention had drifted a bit as he had started flirting and winking at a hobgoblin girl sitting at the next table.

“Anyway. The portal led to a very dark cave, which we later find out was the Valhalla Forge, underneath the Valhalla fortress. The first creatures we encountered were a bunch of dwarves with flaming heads, who didn’t seem to fancy us being there. We tried talking to them, but they were very adamant on throwing us back out, so we had to deal with them. Aitlas and Kayne got a bit overwhelmed by the amount of these flaming garden gnomes, but it gave the rest of us the time to take them all out. Now the problem was that we were all down on spells and we didn’t know how much time we would have, so no time to rest and recover.”

The waitress brought another plate of roasted chicken legs and baked potatoes. Zaela and Yanika both smiled at her in thanks, while Helix was still preoccupied with his new love interest.

“Not having a chance to rest would cost us very dearly in the end unfortunately. After a bit of exploring of the caves, we got to a forge where some angel was at work. We talked to it for a bit and told him of our purpose there. It informed us that the soul we were looking for was locked away in the room he was guarding, and that he could not allow us to get it. And he could even explain why. Apparently Goibhniu is so attached to his creations that he’s not allowed by Daghdha to make sentient creatures. He did make some souls though, like the Doctor, and sometimes one of them escapes to our world. Kayne convinced the angel to allow him to talk to the souls of the doctor, and was allowed it because he can’t use magic. That way we could at least verify if the doctor wanted to return or not. He confirmed that he wanted to live, and in the end we decided to attack the angel and fulfil our promise, and that’s where everything went downhill.”

Yanika let out a deep sigh and put down her food for a moment. The recollection of the fight was still a painful one. Kayne had very civilly explained to the angel what was to happen, before he had attacked. The angel however had responded with a fireball, which had taken out Majid, Spade and Kayne in one fell swoop and heavily injured everyone else.

“After that initial attack, we managed to get everyone back up on their feet, but just barely, and we knew we couldn’t take another attack like this. So the only thing we could do was pull the angel away from the room to allow Ace and a chance to sneak into the room with the souls and get the doctor. And she managed to get him out, and we managed to knock out the angel, but not before Majid got knocked out again, and Kayne got killed. I was too far away to reach him in time…”

Her voice trailed off a bit as she recalled the entire fight. They had run and spread out to pull the angel away, but it had left her at the other end of the hallway leading to the forge where Kayne had fallen, and with the angel blocking the way, before it had been taken out, precious time had been lost and she hadn’t made it back to the forge in time to save Kayne. Zaela gently put her arm around her shoulder and held her close as Yanika’s eyes teared up again. Helix pulled his attention fully to his friends again at this and slipped in on the other side, cuddling both of them. No girl could keep him away from comforting his friend.

“I really thought I had lost him there. But there was a chance of course. Valhalla is the place of eternal battle, so there was a good chance that he would come back anyway the next morning. But that would require leaving his body there. We had a huge discussion about this, as I was willing to take that chance, but the rest didn’t want to leave his body there unguarded. But leaving someone else behind was too much of a risk, so in the end we took the body back with us and had him resurrected the old fashioned way.”

Yanika had hugged a few of her companions by now, the latest having been Zebulor after his ordeal with the nobles. But she had never hugged one of them so tightly as Kayne when he had been returned from the dead. He might be a thickheaded dufus sometimes, but he was a good friend who always tried to do the right thing. And she had told him as much when he had asked them how he could become a better person.

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